By JACK AMI
THE Papua New Guinea Orchids will wrestle tough opposition in the their opening match of the women’s rugby league World Cup on Nov 16 in Sydney, Australia.
The women’s World Cup will be officially launched on Nov 14 in Sydney.
In their debut appearance in the World Cup, the Orchids are up against England in a triple-header in which the New Zealand Ferns will play Canada and Australian Jillaroos meet Cooks Islands.
It is going to be a mammoth task for the Papua New Guinea team when they meet England, Canada and Cook Islands to qualify for the semifinals.
Women’s rugby league World Cup super powers Jillaroos and Black Ferns are likely hot favourites for the major crown.
The PNG team, inclusive of Brisbane-based Amelia Kuk and Jazmyn Taumafai, went into camp last Sunday and started training on Monday.
Kuk, 24, brings with her a wealth of experience as a former Jillaroos training squad member who was dropped from the Australian national team and is a major boost for the PNG side.
She is also a PNG Palais international and a representative for Queensland.
The inclusion of these two players has boosted the moral, confidence and team spirit in the camp.
The side is captained by 28-year-old Cathy Neap, who has led the side against the Jillaroos in Port Moresby and also in a warm-up match against the Innisfail selected team in Cairns.
In the Sept 23 test match in Port Moresby the PNG Orchids were thrashed by the Australian Jillaroos 42-4.
The Orchids smashed Innisfail 30-6 in a curtainraiser match in Cairns later to boost their confidence leading into the World Cup campaign.
The PNG Orchids: Elvinah Aaron (Southern), Helen Abau (Southern), Delailah Ahose (Southern), Della Audama (Southern), Akosita Baru (Northern), Christie Bulhage (Highlands), Brenda Goro (Southern), Carol Humeu (Southern),Shirley Joe (Northern), Martha Karl (Northern), Gloria Kaupa (Highlands), Naomi Kaupa (Southern), Amelia Kuk (Brisbane, Australia), Joan Kuman (Southern), Grace Mark (Northern), Mala Mark (Highlands), Janet Michael (Southern), Cathy Neap (C) (Southern), Anne Oiufa (Highlands), Vanessa Palme (Southern), Fay Sogavo (Highlands),Jazmyn Taumafai (Brisbane, Australia), Vero Waula (Southern), Maima Wei (Southern).
By JACK AMI